Cardinal O'Connor's Nephew: Pa. Priest Molested Me

By Bill Hutchinson
New York Daily News
June 18, 2009

The nephew of the late John Cardinal O'Connor will file a civil suit Thursday claiming he was repeatedly molested as a child by a priest who taught his religion class, his lawyer said Wednesday night.

Rich Green claims he was sexually assaulted by the Rev. John McDevitt while he was a 14-year-old freshman at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, Pa.

Green, now 31, claims McDevitt, who died in 1999, targeted him because he was O'Connor's nephew.

"The allegation is basically he [McDevitt] threatened to fail him and told him he had to come in for religious tutoring," Green's attorney, New Yorker Michael Reck, told the Daily News.

"He [Green] had to come in for religious tutoring because obviously having a bad grade in the religion class was just not an option for his family," Reck said. "So he comes in to be tutored and it turns into a pattern of pretty horrific sexual abuse."

Reck said the abuse lasted for about six months, usually twice a week in the classroom.

Reck said McDevitt had a track record of molesting boys and that his superiors of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales order in Delaware were aware of it.

After being accused of abuse while a teacher in the early 1980s at the Salesianum School in Wilmington, Del., McDevitt was transferred to Archbishop Wood, Reck said.

"Instead of reporting him or doing anything to fix the situation and protect kids, they moved him to another school where, lo and behold, he comes in contact with the cardinal's nephew," Reck said.

The civil suit, which names the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales and Catholic Diocese of Wilmington as defendants, is being filed in Superior Court in Wilmington under Delaware's Child Victims Act, set to expire July 1.


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